A 42-year-old nurse died after contracting HIV while taking blood from an infected patient at a hospital, it has emerged.
Juliet Young was taking the sample at the Maudsley psychiatric hospital in south London in June 1999, when the needle slipped and she pricked her thumb.
She was carrying out a non-emergency blood test at the Lishman Unit, which treats brain damaged patients.
Ms Young was wearing gloves but contracted HIV shortly afterwards, and went on to develop AIDS before dying of pneumonia last January.
An inquest jury at Southwark Coroner’s Court returned a verdict of accidental death.
A spokesman for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a tragic and unusual incident.
“Juliet Young was a valued member of staff, and we would like to extend our sincere condolences to her family and friends.
“We are confident that the trust has, and continues to have, adequate safety procedures in place for dealing with sharps injuries.”
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said there are only five cases on record of UK healthcare workers contracting HIV from patients.
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“I was a patient in the Lishman [Unit]. Juliet was a kind and caring member of staff. She helped me in so many ways – it’s such a loss.” – Name and contact details supplied
“I was a patient in 1998/99 and then again in 2000. I knew Juliet was ill in 2000. It’s very sad – I know that she wouldn’t have put herself or any of the other patients at risk; she showed 100% support. I never got to say thank you to her. Without her and the other nurses’ support I would not have got through my stays – she will be missed.” – Name and contact details supplied